The UFO community is frequently inundated with promises of easy answers. Insiders emerge with convenient explanations about how antigravity-drives function, tantalizing us with tales of the ET federation visiting Earth, and promising to expose the great coverup. Contactees and remote viewers appear with the truth behind the galactic federation, the Martians, and even the great religious figures of history. All of this brings to mind an old maxim: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is...
Presumably, anyone reading this article sincerely wants to believe that ET life is out there and is probably visiting us. It is stating the obvious to say that UFOlogy is probably the most promising way to establish the viability of this idea. As a result, each of us in the UFO research community has at one time or another wished for the one great event - the ultimate smoking gun - that would decisively reveal the truth. Unfortunately, there is no short cut - UFO research is just plain hard work.
The investigation of UFO sightings involves many hours spent interviewing witnesses, surveying sighting locations, collecting photos and evidence, digging through archives, etc. We often find out about sightings long after they happen - when the trail has become stone cold. Other times the trail of evidence leads to a dead end: Witnesses don't agree, somebody lies, evidence is lost or compromised, or an event turns out to be a hoax. Yet still we persevere. Eventually we see the fuzzy beginnings of a picture of the UFO phenomenon - but still we find no smoking gun. There are no easy answers.
What do we need to prove the existence of ET? Probably the most convincing would be physical evidence. However, this evidence must be definitive. It must be analyzed by many organizations (just one won't do). Each researcher must be subject to peer scrutiny. Each must make his/her results known promptly to the scientific community at large. All involved must approach the task cautiously - being careful to avoid any claims of success until they are absolutely sure of their results. Finally, the results must be unambiguous. All must agree that the evidence points to an ET - and no other - explanation.
We could acquire such evidence in two possible ways. One is the sudden, definitive smoking gun. Unfortunately, we have seen enough false alarms in recent times, that in my view this is unlikely to happen. If it does, the possibility of a hoax will always hang over us. The second way is the slow painstaking work of investigating sightings and encounters. With so many unexplained sightings by credible people, a compelling picture is beginning to emerge. With a lot more work, I feel that this picture can become increasingly clear.
After we strip away the hoaxes, the remote viewing and the channeled revelations, there remains a compelling core of unexplained UFO events, both past and present. In my view, these could one-day yield solid evidence for ET visitation. However, to determine this credibly will require much careful, high-quality research. It will be slow, tedious work - one case at a time. But in my view, this will be the only way for UFOlogy to succeed - by doing it the hard way.
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